By Graham "GSM" Matthews
The Hardys def. The BroMans in Tag Team Tournament Quarterfinals Match
I had a hunch Matt would be choosing Devon as his partner so they could begin a feud with Magnus and Bram, but I'm glad they took the more logical route and had him go with his brother Jeff instead. The BroMans are a joke tag team, so the ending outcome was never in doubt. That said, it was a nice match because while The BroMans have a terrible gimmick, they're decent enough wrestlers. I'm curious as to whether The Hardys will remain a tandem for a while longer or if they're just sticking together for the tournament.
Devon and Bram Brawled
Bram, to me, comes off like a star with his look and wrestling ability, but I continue to fear that TNA is branding him as a hardcore wrestler and nothing more. He's capable of much more than that and I hope that's not the direction they're taking his character in. His reasoning for attacking Devon last week was rather weak and the brawl between the two was as basic as it gets. They did a decent job of building up the match for later in the night, but it wasn't a marquee match anyway, so why not go right into it?
X-Division Champion Samoa Joe and Low-Ki def. Gunner and Samuel Shaw in a Tag Team Tournament Quarterfinals Match
I really like the pairing of Joe and Low-Ki given their history together, and while they scream makeshift tag team, they're both great athletes and you know any match they'll be involved in will be a treat. This match wasn't too enjoyable outside anything Low-Ki or Joe did simply because I couldn't care less for Gunner and/or Shaw. The "heel turn" from Shaw could be seen coming from a mile away, but I can't really call it a heel turn since I don't think he was ever a face to begin with. I'm content with the idea of pairing two crazy characters together in Shaw and Brittany, and at least it's better than a love angle between Shaw and Gunner that they seemed to be teasing a few weeks ago.
Knockouts Champion Havok Attacked Rebel and Gail Kim
Havok continues to be booked like a beast and I'm glad to see it. Her recent matches have exposed her as being not all that good in the ring, but her showcases of dominance in segments such as this somewhat makes up for it. Rebel vs. Velvet Sky was a disaster waiting to happen, so I couldn't have been happier that match didn't come to fruition. Doing a brawl between Havok and Kim right after one was done between Bram and Devon earlier on, but it was well done and effectively furthered their feud.
Bram def. Devon in a Hardcore Match
I've said it countless times before and I'll say it again: Enough with the hardcore matches, TNA! We've seen at least one of them a week since the summer and it grew tiresome a long time ago. They don't mean anything, especially when the combatants are people the fans don't care much about. Bram shines in these types of matches, but as previously stated, he shouldn't be branded as solely a hardcore wrestler. As for Devon, he's much better off teaming with Bully Ray than in singles competition. I'm sure that's where this is headed, though.
MVP and Kenny King def. Mr. Anderson and Chris Melendez in a Tag Team Tournament Quarterfinals Match
Melendez still has a lot of work to do when it comes to his in-ring skills, but a team with Anderson will help hide his weaknesses for the time being as he improves. The match was hardly anything special and it was thankfully kept relatively brief. The heels needed the win more than the faces did, but I really hope this doesn't lead to a millionth heel turn for Anderson. Let them team together for a few more months before having them part ways, and even then neither of them should go heel.
Ethan Carter III and Tyrus def. Eric Young and Rockstar Spud in a Tag Team Tournament Quarterfinals Match
I know Young helped Spud stick up for himself against EC3 a few weeks back, but didn't Spud cost Young his match against EC3 that same night? That aside, this was a fine match used to get more heat on the new duo of EC3 and Tyrus while also prolonging Spud's comeuppance on his former friend. The fans are anxious to see Spud finally get his hands on EC3 and an eventual match between the two would be fun. There was no way the heels would lose here since EC3 has yet to be pinned or submitted and it's too early to have Tyrus lose.
Bobby Roode and TNA World Heavyweight Champion Lashley Signed the Contract for Next Week's Title Match
Roode's mic work, per usual, was strong here and he put over his quest for the title and his desperation to win it back in a big way. MVP continues to flourish as Lashley's mouthpiece, but it appears that partnership may be coming to an end sooner rather than later with tension teased between them here. The stipulation of their pending match also ensures there won't be any interference which might increase viewers' interest in the match if they weren't already excited as I am for it.
After a solid string of good to great shows, this was definitely the weakest episode in recent memory. None of the matches were all that memorable and the only segment that stood out as being above average was the closing segment. The feud between Lashley and Roode is the only thing in TNA peaking my interest right now, unfortunately. The tag tournament has potential, I guess, but the first round of matches were mediocre. There aren't many shows left before they take a hiatus, so hopefully they finish off this set of tapings on a high note.